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Muslims begin 'scaled-down' Hajj today

  • Only 10,000 Muslims will perform Hajj this year due to coronavirus.
Published July 29, 2020
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Muslims will begin the dramatically downsized annual Hajj on Wednesday amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This is the first time in Saudi Arabia's modern history that Muslims outside country have been barred from performing Hajj. Every year, about two million people normally participate, but this year no more than 10,000 are expected to attend due to coronavirus.

Only citizens from other countries who are already resident in the kingdom will be allowed to attend this year.

Government to refund Hajj dues from Thursday

Some 70% of the pilgrims are foreigners residing in the country, while the rest will be Saudi citizens. Saudi Arabia has only allowed those pilgrims who are below 65 years of age and have no chronic illnesses.

The Hajj authorities have also banned the pilgrims from touching the Kaaba. All pilgrims were required to be tested for coronavirus before arriving in Makkah. They will also have to quarantine after the pilgrimage.

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